Carry on

Nov 17, 2010

As he shapes his new administration, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown intends to keep many of the people that were put in place by Gov, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The L.A. Times' Evan Halper and Michael Mishak have the story.


"Brown advisors say the governor-elect is focused on the budget; filling a couple of thousand government posts with new faces is not his priority now, they say. Even on financial matters, Brown may not bring in a new top-level advisor. He has praised Schwarzenegger's budget director, who people close to the transition say may be invited to keep the job."

"Brown had consulted the budget director, Ana Matosantos, for insight on state fiscal matters during the campaign. At one point he showed up at her office unannounced and without any entourage, and the two sat down and drilled deep into budget policy."


The state budget is at the top of lawmakers' concerns, and Democrats want to hold off until the new governor takes office.


From Steve Harmon at the Contra Costa Times: "But rank-and-file Democrats appear reluctant to work out anything with Schwarzenegger, though that doesn't mean they won't begin work on a midyear correction, said Alicia Trost, spokeswoman for state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. 


"A lot of Democrats just want to deal with the governor-elect," she said. "Of course, we'll take a look at what Gov. Schwarzenegger proposes. But it's most likely going to be the same complete elimination of IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services) or a $700 million cut, or the elimination of CalWORKs. If that's what he proposes, that solidifies the fact that we'll just go ahead and work with the governor-elect."


In California's political wars, water always floats to the top. The Chronicle's Kelly Zito has the latest example -- the fight over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.


"Forty-three cities, counties and water agencies - including those serving more than 4 million residents in San Francisco, the Peninsula and parts of the East Bay - say the plan is a blatant Southern California water grab that could further harm the delta, constrict water supplies and raise water rates in much of Northern California."


"Earlier this month, the coalition made its case in a letter to Karen Scarborough, undersecretary of California's Natural Resources Agency and chairwoman of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan steering committee."


Richard Katz, a former state lawmaker and mayoral candidate in L.A., is stepping down from his position on the High-Speed Rail Authority, a move that comes as the agency faces scrutiny over its finances.


From the LAT's Rich Connell: "Katz, who also serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Metrolink commuter rail system, said Tuesday that he submitted his resignation to the governor and will leave his state post Dec. 1."


"Katz and California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Curt Pringle have been the focus of a state attorney general’s review to determine if the state and local positions they hold are legally “incompatible” due to potentially overlapping interests on rights-of-way, station locations and other matters. Pringle is mayor of Anaheim and a member of the Orange County Transportation Authority board, but he will relinquish those offices next month."


Meanwhile. foes of the governor's attempt to sell off state property to raise money for the budget are going to have their day in court, reports the AP's Tom Verdin.


"A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to halt the sale of 11 California office complexes, alleging the process illegally bypassed the state Judicial Council and amounts to an improper gift of public funds."


"The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, wants a preliminary injunction before the sale can be finalized, which the state expects sometime in December.

It alleges the plan that was championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and approved by the Legislature ignores the jurisdiction of the Judicial Council, which has authority over buildings housing the state's appellate courts."


Working hard, some state lawmakers are enjoying Hawaii -- and why not? Sometimes you can do more on the beach than in the Capitol. The Bee's Jim Sanders has the story.


"The largest of two Hawaii conferences, held in Maui this week, is providing free travel and lodging to lawmakers underwritten by donations to a nonprofit group from some of the state's most powerful interests – energy providers, pharmaceutical companies and the prison officers' union."


"Lawmakers are joined by lobbyists and corporate officials who will seek their votes when the Legislature convenes next month."


And finally, we open our "Pleasure Forever" file to observe the woman who was arrested after personally enjoying herself in a hotel parking lot. No, we're not making this up.


"A topless woman who was masturbating in a hotel parking lot is facing a weapons charge after Illinois cops investigating her auto eroticism discovered a loaded pistol in her vehicle."


"A Naperville cop responding to an unrelated call spotted Vikki Myers, 44, in a van outside the Red Roof Inn. After initially claiming that she was changing clothes, Myers admitted to pleasuring herself in the vehicle, according to police."


"That admission may have been prompted by a police officer’s discovery of what an officer described as “adult items that were used for self-pleasuring. In addition to copping to the vehicular masturbation charge, Myers told cops that that there was a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer handgun in the car, a weapon for which she did not have a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification card."


Just another night in Naperville...




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